The Two Faces of Barack Obama | Main | Quickies
June 12, 2013

Secret Service Raids Home of Twitter User for... Critical Tweets About Obama?

What?

I do not know the reason for the Secret Service interrogation. I know the Twitterer himself, Tom Francois, says this of it:

On April 11, 2013, he heard relentless pounding on his door shouts of "Police!" The officers introduced themselves as members of The Secret Service and asked if they could "take a look around."

Since Tom had nothing to hide (and he didn't want any return visits) - he complied fully with their request. He even signed a consent to search his premises AND an "Authorization To Review Medical and Mental Health Records!"

They asked Tom if he ever left his state or traveled to Washington, D.C.

One Agent asked Tom if he has any intentions of "whacking" the President." To which Tom replied- "Of course not. I wish him no harm. I disagree with his policies and actions and I make no bones about it. It's my First Amendment Right and I intend to exercise it."

....


The Secret Service had a thick FBI file- filled with screenshots of hundreds of posts. Said Tom, "I flat out told them 'I have NEVER threatened Obama's life! Yes, I despise him as you can plainly see, but I have that right!' They actually ADMITTED and agreed with me that I hadn't threatened Obama."

They had run a background check and discovered that Tom legally owned two guns- and they asked to see them. Tom showed them his firearms. They asked, "Are they loaded?" Tom replied in the affirmative. "What good are guns if they aren't loaded?"

So why harass Tom? "The Secret Service officers claimed that "they were concerned that since I have a large Twitter following, and the things I said could be acted upon by some nut case out there! What the hell? They turned my life upside down for THAT?"

I would suggest a strong dose of the 24 hour rule. This is such an enormous and frightening allegation it's especially critical to know the truth of it -- whether there is some understandable, permissible reason for the Secret Service interest, or whether there was not.

I'm attempting to get someone in a position of authority to take a look at this, and report to us whether we should be very worried right now, or whether this is something less.

I'm tempted to think "There is no way the Secret Service would do this" but until recently I thought there was no way the IRS would target the Tea Party, either.

Again, 24 hour rule.

A Couple of Cognitive Biases... One reason I've been a little skeptical of this NSA disclosure is the Summer of Sharks phenomenon -- that when a certain type of story is in the news (like the shark attacks in the summer before the 9/11 disaster), each new incidence of that type of story gets seized upon with greater interest and greater alarm that would otherwise attach to it.

That doesn't mean the NSA story is nothing. It means I'm just aware that this happens, and I'm on patrol against it. Maybe too much. I don't know. I still don't understand precisely what the NSA is doing (or even what the NSA claims it's doing, which is likely entirely different from what it's actually doing).

This new story is a Major Shark Attack but we don't really know the circumstances of the attack. We don't know much at all, really. We have one side of a story only.

Another cognitive bias, leaning the opposite way, is this: I sure hope this story is not true. Because if it is true, we have well and truly entered a truly dark and dangerous period of post-American history.

So as for now, I'm hoping. I'm hoping very strongly that this story is not true, and that the Secret Service is not raiding people on the theory that pungent political commentary may encourage a lunatic to do something violent, and thus pungent political commentary is now effectively a crime against the state.

I sure hope that's not the case.

Incidentally... The "Examiner.com" here is not the Washington Examiner. The latter is a real online newspaper. The former, the "Examiner.com," is... I'm not sure what it is, really. I have seen some egregiously dumb leftwing stories on there, and some dumb rightwing ones too.

I get the feeling it's a halfway thing between a "forum" (anyone can post) and a "newspaper" (genuine editorial oversight). I don't think anyone can post Whatever, but I don't think there's the sort of background checking that you'd generally expect in a "published story," either.

Honestly I don't know either way, but I wouldn't assume that it has a newspaper's editorial screening going on behind a story.



digg this
posted by Ace at 02:58 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Chinese Arithmetic: "**hollowed out gain of function vector could be pa ..."

Braenyard: "Thus, the vaccines may not confer "long term" immu ..."

sven: "345 Posted by: Bozo Conservative ....Living on the ..."

GWB: ""this one's colors kept drawing me back" Yep. ' ..."

Martini Farmer: "I've read that the Walther PDP is a pretty good pi ..."

Cosmic Charlie: "Covid has brought out the worst in people. ..."

Blanco Basura - moronhorde.com. Serving all Americans, even the Neanderthals.: "[i]Thus, the vaccines may not confer "long term" i ..."

sven: "334 Posted by: banana Dream at May 07, 2021 08:49 ..."

kraken: "My pet theory, which is just that, is that the Cor ..."

Braenyard: "A suggestion? Posted by: Commissar Hrothgar at Ma ..."

Blanco Basura - moronhorde.com. Serving all Americans, even the Neanderthals.: "[i]I also said last week that I " think" I might h ..."

Bozo Conservative ....Living on the prison planet: " He also said the J&J is more traditional vaccine ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64